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Boffins' best ever map of heavens.

THE first full census of the sky has been completed by US scientists.

They spent more than three years cataloguing the heavens above us and spotted millions of new stars and galaxies.

Enough data was gathered to fill 2000 home computer hard drives. It will take two years just to process it.

The Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) used a telescope and Arizona and another in Chile.

Over more than 1000 nights, they found previously hidden galaxies behind our own Milky Way, new regions of space where stars are being born, and new galaxies in far reaches of the universe.

Team member Dr Michael Strutskie, of the University of Massachusetts, said: "These telescopes have given us the first detailed global view of our Milky Way and the galaxies beyond.

"The data is a treasure trove which will be mined by scientists and the public for decades to come."
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 27, 2001
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